Depression 'can make people stronger'

People who experience depression can progress in life feeling stronger and emerge with a more positive outlook, it has been suggested.

Marjorie Wallace, founder and chief executive of SANE, said the condition is a paralysis of motivation and those who suffer from it will find it difficult to believe that any good could come of the illness, the Independent reports.

However, Ms Wallace - who experienced depression herself - noted there is light at the end of the tunnel and observed: "It can act as a catalyst to survival because you have looked over the precipice and seen the abyss."

The newspaper explained this is not the first time the argument has been aired - Professor Jerome Wakefield from New York University previously suggested in his book, The Loss of Sadness: How Psychiatry Transformed Normal Sorrow Into Depressive Illness, that embracing the condition motivates people to change and to learn from past mistakes.

Lucy Johnstone, Chartered Psychologist, said: "Clinical psychologists mostly take the view that depression happens for reasons - things have gone wrong in your life and your relationships."

"It isn't just an 'illness' that hits you out of the blue. It makes sense that if you can deal with the underlying problems, you may come through as a stronger person. We need greater access to talking therapies in order to enable people to do this, both in mild and in more severe depression."

A high-profile name to recently admit he has been suffering from depression is former boxing champion Ricky Hatton, who said he has found it difficult adjusting to life outside of the ring.